Matt Edwards & Darren Garrod win 2021 BRC!

Matt Edwards carved his name firmly in the record books by becoming Motorsport UK British Rally Champion for the third time in a row at Modern Tyres Ulster Rally 20 November. After battling with teammate Osian Pryce, Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod successfully navigated their Volkswagen Polo GTi through the daunting lanes around Newry, trading times together throughout the event, until the penultimate stage when an error from Pryce saw him leave the road and give Edwards his third title.

In doing so Edwards joins an eminent list of names on the sought-after BRC trophy including Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Ari Vatanen. But even so, those iconic drivers never secured the coveted title three times consecutively and the Welshman becomes the first driver in history to do just that. Like the previous BRC six rounds, the Ulster Rally had been between the two Melvyn Evans Motorsport contenders with Edwards needing to win to become champion. But Pryce also had his eyes on the prize and was doing everything in his power to not become a BRC runner up for the third time in his career. Sadly, his Michelin shod Volkswagen would end the eighth stage on its roof.

Taking second place in the BRC would be Josh Moffett and Andy Hayes in their Hyundai i20. A largely trouble-free run from the pairing saw them scoop their first BRC podium of the season. Keith Cronin and Mikie Galvin would be another crew to secure a maiden podium of 2021 as they took their Hankook backed Ford Fiesta Rally2 to third place despite a puncture and penalties for a late service check-out.

Round one winners Sam Moffett and Keith Moriarty scooped fourth after overcoming early brake issues. The duo had reverted back to an older specification Fiesta for the weekend and would finish some five minutes ahead of Seb Perez and Gary McElhinney in the M-Sport Fiesta Rally2, taking fifth despite an off on shakedown. The Melvyn Evans Motorsport squad were also confirmed as British Rally Championship Teams victors, offering some consolation to only one of the two cars returning to the Newry finish.

The final word must come from 2021 champion Matt Edwards: "Everyone knows what the BRC means to me. I gave absolutely everything I could today. This thing [the car] has been at all sorts of shapes and we have gone absolutely nuts to try and do the job. Huge thanks to Yuasa and all my supporters who had the faith in me to make it all happen again. Huge credit to Melvyn Evans as well who stuck by me, we could have easily not been here this weekend with all our budget problems after bouncing it off Mull and Cambrian [Rally] hedges."

"I don't give up and this is the reward for that".

And so say all of us - Congratulations to Matt and Darron, 2021 BRC Champions

Championship Points - Overall After Round 7
1. Matt Edwards 111J
2. Osian Pryce 106J
3. Matthew Wilson 53J
4. Rhys Yates 53J
5. Sam Moffett 51J
6. Keith Cronin 50J
7. Seb Perez 46J
8. Josh Moffett 42
9. William Creighton 35J
10. Eamonn Kelly 20J

1. Darren Garrod 108
2. Noel O'Sullivan 101
3. Keith Moriarty 49
4. James Morgan 49
5. Mikie Galvin 47
6. Gary McElhinney 45
7. Andy Hayes 42
8. Liam Regan 35
9. Dale Furniss 28
10. Elliott Edmondson 25

22nd November, 2021